Nottingham

Nottinghamshire police disciplined over pregnant woman's treatment

Three Nottinghamshire police officers have been disciplined over their parts in the treatment of a "vulnerable" pregnant woman when she was arrested.

Lynnette Wallace was left semi-naked for 13 minutes and was also put in handcuffs for 11 hours.

She was arrested at home in July 2011 and taken to Bridewell custody suite, in Nottingham, on suspicion of arson.

Ms Wallace, 42, complained and the case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Nottinghamshire Police said Miss Wallace, who was seven-and-a-half months pregnant at the time, had her upper clothing removed because she was assessed as being at risk of self-harming.

She was later charged with offences, but these were subsequently dropped.

'Professional standards'

An IPCC spokesman said a complaint was made to Nottinghamshire Police in October 2011, which was then passed on for investigation.

It ruled the officers - two sergeants and an inspector - had a case to answer for gross misconduct after she was stripped by another officer and left.

An IPCC report found that Miss Wallace was left in handcuffs for exceptional periods of time, and there was a failure to provide her with adequate information to help her arrange childcare - which added to her distress.

Det Supt Jackie Alexander, head of force professional standards directorate, said: "On this occasion, mistakes were made, the officers got it wrong and received formal discipline sanctions for their actions.

"We apologise to the complainant for this fact."

She said the force dealt with thousands of people in custody every year and aimed to ensure professional standards were met on every occasion.

"The force also acknowledges the challenging nature of the work of officers and staff responsible for custody, which often involves them having to make dynamic, fast time decisions relating to people's welfare," she said.

The force said it accepted the report's findings and was acting on the IPCC recommendations.

Another sergeant will be required to attend a misconduct meeting and two police constables and a further sergeant will receive management action from a senior officer at Nottinghamshire Police over the complaint.

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